Laibstain. Eliasberg from Clapp Estate. Very nice example of a tough early date S mint, not as difficult as the 93-S, but really not that much different, either. We bought this coin unattributed, but later matched it up to the Eliasberg coin, with the help of Ron Guth of PCGS. As with all Eliasberg coins from the Barber series, this one traces back to the Clapp collection bought intact by Eliasberg. True gem 94-S's are great coins. One of four Eliasberg coins in this set (94-S, 01-O, 04-O, and 12-S). Out of 74 coins in the set counting the micro O, there are only 50 possible mint state coins (the P mints were proofs, 24 coins). Thus, four out of 50 possible mint state Eliasberg coins is 8% of the available business strike coins from the Eliasberg collection.
David Akers: Despite its considerably higher mintage, the 1894-S is much more rare in Gem condition than the 1894-O, and is actually one of the rarest dates (in Gem) in the entire Barber Half Dollar series. I consider it to be one of the series' most underrated issues since it has never been widely publicized or even recognized as a rarity yet it bears favorable comparison to almost any other issue in the series. The number of Gems in existence is certainly very small...
John C. Hugon - Heritage 1/2005:4207, $11,500 - Heritage 7/2005:10215, $11,500 - Harry Laibstain - Dr. Peter Shireman
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